Gary Hanson

A couple of days ago I had an interesting qso with K9BHP (Ben) using my ubitx.  Ben called CQ on 20 meters from Chicago and I answered him with my ubitx running at 7 watts from Austin, TX.  He gave me a report of S7-S8, but mentioned that he could not hear me on his antenna in Chicago, but was using a websdr receiver in Northern Utah.  We chatted for 10-15 minutes and afterward I looked into the websdr receiver that can be found at this URL:  websdr2.utahsdr.org.  I realized that this wedsdr receiver could be used for several fun things.

First, you can use it to hear your own signal.  Find a clear frequency on the websdr, set your ubitx to the same frequency and call CQ.  If you are getting out, you should hear your own voice, with a slight delay, coming back on your computer. The websdr has a  S-meter so you also can learn what your signal strength is as well.

I used the websdr to compare how well two different antennas were working.  I compared the signal strength of my 88 foot doublet fed with ladder line at 35 feet and an Emtech Z-match tuner with a sloper dipole fed with 50 ohm coax, no tuner and no balun with the feed point at 16 feet.  Interestingly, the sloper dipole signal strength was a little more than 1 s-unit better even though it was only half as high as the doublet.  I suspect that I have a lossy tuner. 

Another interesting comparison you could try, but I have not (yet), is to listen to two different microphones to check audio quality and signal strength differences.  At least you would get a chance to hear what the other end of the qso is hearing.

There are more than 65 websdr stations scattered across the world, with several in the US (go to websdr.org).  While you can check your propagation with some of the digital modes, the websdr allows you to listen to your audio.  It's just another fun way to play with your ubitx.

Hope you have as much fun with it as I did.

Gary, KJ5VW

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